Don’t excuse behavior
With Independence Day around the corner, I will attest to the fact that I love the United States of America, its values, principles, and ideals. Yet, I am dismayed, repelled, and embarrassed by much of our president’s behavior. He is rude, coarse, vainglorious, duplicitous to the core, and demeaning of women and minorities.
As a career educator of more than 40 years, I deplore the example that President Trump sets for young people (adults, too). I prize that we have the freedom to believe what we wish and to express our views freely, short of hate and sedition. The president seems to test even these limits with his undisciplined, utterly disrespectful rants. And he does not like criticism. Welcome to leadership in a democratic society.
Does Donald J. Trump understand the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the country’s history? What would Washington, Jefferson, Madison, or Lincoln think if they were alive today? And believe what you will about health care. Choose a side. This is a free country, as we say. But who among us would suggest that the current debate might as well falter to abject failure so that we have nothing to rely on? Who among us who truly cares about all Americans of every economic circumstance would turn his or her back on any citizen out of disregard or carelessness? Those who defend and dissemble the president’s nonsensical, mean, and vicious statements ought to think long and hard about their own motives.
Of late, America has clearly lost standing around the globe. I ardently believe that the world is far better when the U.S. leads. I am confident that we will regain stature and responsibility, but only when thoughtful, morally courageous leaders step forward and work collaboratively for the greater good. While not requiring agreement, the republic demands selflessness, integrity, civility, and backbone if it is to thrive. Where is our modern day Cincinnatus?
I will remain hopeful. ARNOLD E. HOLTBERG
Hot Springs Village